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Best Scottish Import Since Plaid: Alasdair Fraser
Hailed as one of the finest fiddlers Scotland has ever produced, this San Juan Ridge resident and master musician has helped foster a renaissance of traditional Scottish fiddling and dance in the U.S. and abroad through his concerts, Nevada City-based record company, and fiddle schools and camps in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Scotland and Spain.
Best Small Theater Nestled Within a Big Neighborhood: Celebration Arts
With blocks of houses surrounding it on all sides, this tiny East Sac theater’s very existence is a surprise to some, but its productions make it well worth pulling out the GPS to find.
Best Local Band Celebrating a Big Birthday: Mumbo Gumbo.
Fun-loving, fan-favorite multigenre party band Mumbo Gumbo celebrates 20 years this year.
Best Jazz Group: American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble
This award-winning student group puts the smooth in smooth jazz.
Best Boomer Band: Ant Bee Band
This six-man acoustic band from Roseville really gets the joint jumpin’ with its energetic covers of classic rock songs from the ’70s.
Best Pint-Size Banjo Player: Quinn Alfaro
When he performs on Second Saturday with local band Mike Blanchard & the Whispering Chingaderos, this 12-year-old more than holds his own with the big boys.
Best Ambassadors for Skateboarding Since Tony Hawk: Nic and Tristan Puehse
These Shingle Springs twins may be only 12 years old, but their skateboarding videos on YouTube have logged more than 11 million views; their first full-length feature film, Nic and Tristan Go Mega Dega, is available on DVD, and more movies are in the works.
Best Reason To Listen Up: Stories on Stage
Fiction writers turn their work over to professional actors, who read the stories at the mike the last Friday of every month at midtown’s Sacramento Poetry Center. It’s often hilarious, sometimes chilling and always a good, lively listen.
Best Gospel Singer Who Can Groove You Into Shape: Van Goss
With a music and fitness nonprofit called Van Goss Ministries, and songs such as “Preacher’s Daughter,” “Irresistible Praise” and “My Lord Reigns,” it’s clear that Van Goss not only walks the talk, she runs it and sings it, too.
Best Dancers Who Hip-Hop Into the Community: Capitol Roots
Dancers from this active arts studio and event production company take hip-hop, break dancing and martial arts tricking out to the region at fundraisers and competitions.
Best Stepping Stone to Stardom: B Street Theatre Acting Internship Company
Recent college grads from throughout the country try out for coveted spots in B Street’s acting internship program, where they receive intensive professional training and opportunities to appear in the award-winning theater’s plays. Former interns have gone on to star in productions in major markets.